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Top Tips from Top Sales Leaders

As a sales professional, you're busy juggling a lot of things, it can be hard to find the time to stay on top of the latest trends, technology, and best practices. We asked leading sales experts to share their tips and tricks with us, and put their thoughts into an eBook.

This eBook will give you tips and advice around: 

  • Sharing sales knowledge across your organization
  • ‍Collaborating with other teams to help you sell better
  • ‍Updating your technology stack 
  • ‍Advancing your sales career
“Open up any and all lines of communication. Formal ones—stand-ups, briefs, team meetings, wrap-ups, deal briefs, Slack, email—are great but I find that informal lines of communication can provide the best nuggets of valuable information. The hardest part is getting those informal conversations and collaboration results into a format where everyone can benefit.”

Jon Henderson
Director of Sales at Uberflip

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Top Tips from Top Sales Leaders

The World of Sales

If there’s one thing that’s a constant in sales, it’s change. Every year, sales professionals are faced with new challenges, changing trends, and a dynamic industry landscape. 

One way to keep on top of your game is by leveraging what other industry experts have already discovered, tried, and learned from. These best practices can help you overcome many of the challenges that might creep into your sales cycle. 

We know you’re busy, so we thought we’d help and do the research for you. We asked leading industry experts to share their expertise and tips on key sales topics—content sharing, RFPs, collaboration, technology and resources, and continuous learning.

Knowledge Sharing

It’s hard for a sales professional to sell effectively without the right tools and resources, and one of the key resources is company knowledge and information. So we asked the experts what they think about knowledge sharing across the organization and how they go about achieving it.

“The best sales teams are collaborative. They learn, draw from, and even emulate one another. When sharing knowledge and information, it’s imperative that content remains a) accessible from a single source; b) updated by Subject Matter Experts; and c) easy to find using simple search terms. It’s also important that quality of content is high grade and represents the business well.”
Ralph Barsi | Global Sales Development Leader | ServiceNow

“Document everything. Start early, do it often, and memorialize it. There is a role for team meetings, all hands, and 1:1s, but if you don’t document what occurred, on-the-fly changes will not be remembered and cannot be enforced. Banish Slack and emails as your primary mode of sharing information and maintain real-time documentation on your policies, content, GTM message, FAQs...everything!”
Liz Cain | Partner | OpenView

“Be clear about what content your salespeople need and in what form; make content consumption fun, rewarding, and frictionless; and use the latest technology to make information accessible.”
Gerhard Gschwandtner | Founder & Publisher | Selling Power Magazine

“Have a centralized repository of highly organized and easily searchable information. It is a crucial element in ensuring that your team is as effective and independent as possible in all aspects of sales. This reduces the amount of time spent on searching for answers and reliance on other team members and ensures core messaging is aligned.”
Nathaniel Rottenberg | Director of Sales | Loopio

“Open up any and all lines of communication. Formal ones—stand-ups, briefs, team meetings, wrap-ups, deal briefs, Slack, email—are great but I find that informal lines of communication can provide the best nuggets of valuable information. The hardest part is getting those informal conversations and collaboration results into a format where everyone can benefit.”
Jon Henderson | Director of Sales | Uberflip

“My best advice is to ensure that you have a process and a dedicated person to make updating information quick and seamless. Access to a centralized database is key and can be achieved through implementing a solution that contains a knowledge library. Loopio helps us do this better than any other software we’ve found.”
Dee Koharchik | Director Sales Strategy | SIRVA Relocation

Sales Beyond the Demo

For many B2B organizations, the RFP process is a crucial part of the sales cycle, making it a necessary evil. A sales team could spend numerous hours and resources on their response only to discover that they never stood a chance because the buyer had already made a decision. That’s why it’s important for sales professionals to understand how to control and manage the RFP process so they can minimize the burden and effort associated with responding to RFPs. 

“Researching the client and aligning our capabilities with their needs is our first step in every bid. Despite industry best practices, our company responds to just about everything that crosses our desks. We’ve found that deeply researching customers on even blind opportunities enhances our chances for success tenfold.”
Dee Koharchik | Director Sales Strategy | SIRVA Relocation

“To influence an RFP, you should understand that at least 6.8 buyers will be involved in making the decision. Socially surround those buyers and engage with them. Also, at times, I recommend calling a local sales rep within your organization to “get the insights” you need internally. Many salespeople are willing to help another win a deal, just be prepared to help them too.”
Mario Martinez Jr. | Digital Sales Evangelist & CEO | Vengreso

“Establish a scalable, repeatable process for handling RFPs. Involve key stakeholders, use pre-written responses, and maintain version control. Select one or two individuals to orchestrate and regularly communicate with contributors. Craft responses so they are clear, concise, and in the voice of the company’s people and culture.”
Ralph Barsi | Global Sales Development Leader | ServiceNow

“It’s important that before agreeing to respond to an RFP or a Security Questionnaire you have a process in place to determine whether the opportunity justifies the amount of effort and time required to prepare a winning submission. Necessary questions to ask are:
- Is this an opportunity that you can win?
- Where are we in the evaluation process?
- Are core Subject Matter Experts available for input?
- Is this a must-win opportunity?
Nathaniel Rottenberg | Director of Sales | Loopio

Collaborative Selling

Sales professionals cannot succeed by working in silos. Given how complex B2B sales cycles have become, collaborative selling is now a necessity. Collaboration means working together with members of your sales team but also with other teams—product, sales engineering, security, implementation, etc. Here’s what the experts have to say about the importance of collaboration.

“Collaboration requires a mindset shift from thinking in silos to thinking of co‑creating an ecosystem that supports everybody. If the corporate culture focuses on collaboration, you’ll get collaboration. However, if it’s not part of your company’s core values and beliefs, every department will live in a silo, and the company will not thrive.”
Gerhard Gschwandtner | Founder & Publisher | Selling Power Magazine

“Everyone must know which way is north. Otherwise, the business will appear siloed, fragmented, and unclear of the mission. Prospective customers and business partners want to work with trusted advisors and companies that illustrate high standards. When your team lacks collaboration, cohesion, and collective effort, they become unattractive to viable suitors.”
Ralph Barsi | Global Sales Development Leader | ServiceNow

“Collaboration is integral to the success of a company. The sales team is closest to the customer and has to funnel feedback to the rest of the organization—you are the voice of the customer. Looking outward, sales also has the responsibility of correctly representing the go-to-market message, product features/capabilities, and customer journey. Alignment is critical.”
Liz Cain | Partner | OpenView

“Internal collaboration is 50% of the sales battle. I have always said a salesperson’s job is 50% selling externally and 50% internally. You must leverage your product marketing, engineering, accounting, finance, and legal teams to help you close a sale. Once individuals feel they have a stake in the game, they are willing to go as far as possible to help sales win.”
Mario Martinez Jr. | Digital Sales Evangelist & CEO | Vengreso

“Collaboration is crucial to a successful sales team. Every person has different skills. Allowing team members to share knowledge is essential for individual development and, ultimately, an increase in win rates.

Your salespeople are generally not experts in other areas of the business (e.g. security); so it is important that they can gain and leverage expertise without distracting Subject Matter Experts.”
Nathaniel Rottenberg | Director of Sales | Loopio

“Collaboration is critical—and tricky. It’s generally easier to get the attention of the salesperson, since it’s their commission on the line. Getting Subject Matter Experts to respond is probably the most challenging (and frustrating) aspect of our jobs. We’re not above bribery for answers. Identifying primary contacts in each group every year ensures that we’re not bothering too many people too often.”
Dee Koharchik | Director Sales Strategy | SIRVA Relocation

Technology: Your Sales Stack

Technology plays a significant part in enabling sales teams to be more productive and allowing them to focus on selling more. New technology trends are coming up every year, and it’s important for sales professionals to stay on top of them. Here are a few recent technology trends that could help make your sales process more efficient.

“Technology disruption has empowered each business function to build out their own tech stack. The benefits here have been exponential—being able to measure, adjust, and react faster than ever. However, the future challenge we all face is removing any built-in redundancies across departments and ensuring we are all working in unison.”
Jon Henderson | Director of Sales | Uberflip

“Three technology trends have changed the game for sales—artificial intelligence (AI), digital selling, and video. Each of these technologies is helping salespeople focus on digital personalization for buyer-level engagement. No longer is it acceptable to spray and pray. Our role is to understand the buyer and personalize. With the wealth of digital data available, we need AI to serve up relevant data to each buyer.”
Mario Martinez Jr. | Digital Sales Evangelist & CEO | Vengreso

“Technology has served as an extension of the people using it. When applied to top-notch teams, for example, it’s no surprise that technology boosts efficiency and productivity. The current trend is the growth of artificial intelligence in the workplace. While some see AI as a threat, many view it as an enabler for people to focus on what matters most.”
Ralph Barsi | Global Sales Development Leader | ServiceNow

“Slack has been very helpful with quick knowledge-sharing—we have groups set up where team members can ask each other questions and share tips on objection handling and best practices. But we also capture these insights outside of Slack (so they don’t get lost) and make them available for the entire team.”
Nathaniel Rottenberg | Director of Sales | Loopio

“After implementing RFP software last year, our RFP man-hours have dropped by 12%. Combining that with an established SharePoint library and personnel dedicated to keeping the solutions and libraries current has improved our response rates, while also allowing us to focus on enhancing our content and multimedia materials.”
Dee Koharchik | Director Sales Strategy | SIRVA Relocation

“Selling moved online over a decade ago—that was the 2.0 era. The key technologies were social, mobile, big data, and cloud. Today, sales is driven by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive computing. AI is moving us into the 3.0 era where sales activities are planned and prepared on integrated platforms that allow salespeople to connect live with 30 prospects or more per day.”
Gerhard Gschwandtner | Founder & Publisher | Selling Power Magazine

Your Sales Career

To have a successful career in sales, invest the time in professional development and networking with other industry professionals. Find mentors, learn from your peers, and leverage available resources.

“The new gurus of sales excellence are Anthony Iannarino, Jeb Blount, Mike Weinberg, Mark Hunter, Jill Konrath, Lori Richardson, Debra Calvert, Trish Bertuzzi, and Alice Heiman. I recommend reading Selling Power magazine online and attending the Sales 3.0 Conferences.”
Gerhard Gschwandtner | Founder & Publisher | Selling Power Magazine

“A mentor of mine once told me to chase leaders, not jobs. To me, this is the single thing that will get you where you want to go in your career. Make a list of top three things that are most important to you in a company/role and go out and find it. Don’t settle.”
Jon Henderson | Director of Sales | Uberflip

“Podcasts and videos are how I learn best. I recommend listening to the Selling with Social sales podcast and getting Social Selling certified by Vengreso.”
Mario Martinez Jr. | Digital Sales Evangelist & CEO | Vengreso 

“Study human psychology and behavior to better understand the craft of sales. Reflect on why you buy things and what influences you to do so. From there, tailor your search to find infinite resources available to help.”
Ralph Barsi | Global Sales Development Leader | ServiceNow

“Wherever you are located, there is most likely a group of sales professionals that meets regularly. Get involved and start showing up. You will meet people, learn new skills, and make connections that may help you with a challenge down the road.”
Nathaniel Rottenberg | Director of Sales | Loopio

“Our sales team is currently involved with CEB. We follow a lot of their processes for solution selling. My RFP team is also involved with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) and has been trained on proposal development following the methods of Tom Sant.”
Dee Koharchik | Director Sales Strategy | SIRVA Relocation
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